Thursday, November 30, 2006

let's hear it for boobs!

It's a bit out of date now, but a couple weeks ago a woman was hassled on a plane because she was breastfeeding her child.

People are worried about what effect it will have on kids to see people breastfeeding. They don't worry about what effect it will have on kids to see people bottle feeding.

What effect does this have on kids? They learn that bottle feeding is normal, and that breastfeeding is not. Backwards!

Every time I think of someone saying "shame on you" for showing boobs, I want to say "shame on you" to someone for showing a baby bottle.

The article I linked above is sub-headed with "Files complaint saying she was being discreet, airline disagrees". I think that misses the point: discretion is counter-productive here.

Hey moms: if you're breastfeeding, don't hide it! Sure, I know you can do it discretely, but I encourage you to do the opposite. Make sure everyone can see what you are doing with your boobs.

When baby is hungry, don't whisper to your partner "honey, he's hungry". In a full voice, declare that you're going to feed your baby. Take your top & bra off before you latch on. Boldly demonstrate your technique. Sit in the middle of the room. On a stool. In the light.

Don't be ashamed of it, be proud! Make sure everyone knows how proud you are of what you are able to do for your child. Set an example for all the girls that see you ("Oh, I can do that when I'm a mom one day") and for the boys ("Oh, when I'm a dad one day, the mom of my child can do that"). You're doing them a great service.

Don't hide it, flaunt it!

With that in mind, here's a link to the Wikipedia article on breasts: I love the fact that Wikipedia doesn't self-censor around sex. That page is filled with boobs.

Let's hear it for boobs!

2 disclaimers are in order:

1) none of my 3 children were exclusively breastfed, but not for lack of trying. I can't attempt to take the holier-than-though attitude of saying that everyone should breastfeed, period. Instead, I know that it can be very hard, and may not always work out. But part of the reason is that as a breastfeeding mom you are isolated, shunned, and shamed, so it's hard to get the emotional and logistical support you need. If we celebrated & displayed breastfeeding, it would be easier to get that support.

2) I enjoy the appearance of breasts, and I do mean sexually. So I could just be saying this so I can see tits more often. It's nice when my various interests align.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dylan takes a step; Zephyr stacks.

Moments ago Dylan took his first step.
When Reid started walking, he was very excited. He'd pull himself up and launch himself in the direction he wanted to go.  His face full of a huge smile, he'd take a few steps before he lost his balance, crashing to the floor in a fit of laughter.
Dylan has been balancing on two feet for over a month, and "cruising" for about as long.  (The term "cruising" describes the way babies will hold on to the edge of objects for balance while they get around on two feet).  Only a couple days after he started balancing with no hands he started crawling.  We had been worried he'd skip crawling all together, but instead he quickly became a speed-crawler, far outpacing his twin brother.  It was interesting how he learned two new skills in such quick succession.
Just a few minutes ago, Dylan was standing on two feet without holding on to anything, and decided he was facing the wrong direction.  He carefully shifted his balance, picked up one foot, and moved it.  Then he did it again, and again.  Then he decided he was done, and sat down to keep playing.  He didn't even seem to notice that he had taken his first steps.
In keeping with the 2 new skills pattern, he just started doing stairs, too.  We keep the stairs at home blocked off, so the babies don't get to practice.  But we're on vacation in a 3-story house at the beach.  Dylan discovered the stairs and now practices them regularly.  He will crawl from the ground floor to the loft above the 3rd floor without a pause.
Zephyr, weighing 5lbs more, gets an "A" for effort.  He sits at the bottom step and strains and makes a lot of noise and tries to get his feet in different position, but doesn't get very far. 
I don't want to give the impression that Zephyr isn't learning.  Last week he was putting a long toy block in an empty jar and figuring out why it wouldn't come out in certain positions.  Yesterday he found a set of coasters and started putting them away in their tray.  Today he started stacking things.  Right now he is looking at a rubber ducky that is trapped in an otherwise empty Animal Crackers tub, trying to figure out how to retrieve it.
Fun times.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Food in the large and in the small

An email about "The real cause of E. Coli in spinach" got me thinking, and I ended up writing this:
We should remember that as food production scales up, so does risk.  It's nearly impossible to ensure that every person involved in a large-scale process is careful and concientious about the work they do.  And when they make a mistake, the impact is likely to be wide-spread as well. 
When we turn to local, independent food producers (like I do with my milk), we reverse that equation.  We can get involved in our food sources.  I met the cows over the summer, which was awesome.  The food we get is fresher, more flavorful, and more nutritious.  It travels much less distance, is handled & processed less, and generates less polution.
It makes sense that large-scale food be regulated carefully by government.  At the same time, we need to be careful, as regulatory agencies can easily be co-opted by the revolving door, as regulations are never sufficient to guarantee safety (let alone quality!), and as rules can miss the relationship between risk, costs, and scale, thereby driving even more food production in to the less-safe realm of the multinational corporation.
I've been reading Sandor Ellix Katz' new book The Revolution will not be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements, and am really enjoying it.  Every page I read gets me fired up.
I'm glad to be getting eggs, milk, cream, and butter via Stan the dairy farmer.  The power of the "share" model is incredible.  It makes direct-from-the-farmfood available to us, even in the face of regulations that don't fit, like a rule that says that it's dangerous to drink milk from a cow, unless it it first boiled, chilled, shipped, sold, shipped again, and sold again.  Weird.
What else can I get via shares?  I'd love some homemade sausages & bacon.  Mmm.
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